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Importing, Exporting, and Innovation in Developing Countries

  • Seker, Murat

Several recent studies have shown that not only exporters but also importers perform better than firms that do not trade. Using a detailed firm level dataset from 43 developing countries, I show that there are persistent differences in evolution of firms when they are grouped according to their trade orientation as: two-way traders (both importing and exporting), only exporters, only importers, and non-traders. Extending the existing models of firm evolution in open economies by incorporating importing decision, I provide a simple model and empirically show that: i) globally engaged firms are larger, more productive, and grow faster than non-traders; ii) two-way traders are the fastest growing and most innovative group who are followed by only-exporters; and iii) estimating export premium without controlling for import status is likely to overestimate the actual value by capturing the import premium. Finally I show the robustness of the findings by providing evidence from the panel data constructed from the original dataset and controlling for variables that are likely to affect firm growth.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/29904/1/MPRA_paper_29904.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29904.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29904
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  1. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2008. "Higher Productivity in Importing German Manufacturing Firms: Self-selection, Learning from Importing, or Both?," Working Paper Series in Economics 106, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Ricardo A. López, 2005. "Trade and Growth: Reconciling the Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 623-648, 09.
  3. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
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  11. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-43, May.
  12. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
  13. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Rita Almeida & Ana Margarida Fernandes, 2008. "Openness and Technological Innovations in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 701-727.
  18. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Roberto Alvarez & Raymond Robertson, 2004. "Exposure to foreign markets and plant-level innovation: evidence from Chile and Mexico," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 57-87.
  22. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
  23. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
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  25. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2008. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 14416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  27. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1987. "Product Differentiation and Industrial Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 131-46, December.
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